Kristina and I took a break from the Vancouver rain recently and turned a meeting in LA into an excuse for a full weekend in the sun, complete with other gal pals, shopping, chardonnay and pool time. Fun!
Of course we decided in advance which restaurants to hit and like many women who care about fashion, I put some thought into what to wear to the various hot spots, not to mention my shopping and pool outfits. My wardrobe weaknesses are shoes and dresses and I spend more then I care to admit on both, so I don't ever want to miss an opportunity to wear a favourite frock or sky-high heels to a swish dinner.
After a day of serious shopping, we all raced back to our hotel to hit the showers. There were blow dryers, flat, curling and clothing irons going all at once. Eyelashes were groomed, outfits debated, make up applied and nails quickly painted before rushing out the door. A serious effort was put in by all.
And when seated at the five-star establishment where we were dining, I looked around at all the other women in the room who had clearly made a similar effort. Nice work, ladies.
And then my eyes wandered to the boys, I mean men, in the room.
There were sweatshirts everywhere. Too-long pants sitting below the butt crack (really? are we still doing that?), scuffed sneakers, and yes, baseball caps. Some even turned off-centre. (I have never understood this look. To me it screams, "Helloooo I'm a dumb dumb." Why would one want to advertise that?)
Benicio del Toro was at the next table, big poofy hair sticking out from under a baseball cap. He looked like an old man who really really doesn't want to grow up.
And shopping along Robertson? There's a guy barking into his cell phone wearing a too-tight, soiled t-shirt and shuffling along in flip flops -- no pedicure there -- next to his perfectly put-together better half.
Now, I know men's fashion in L.A. is decidedly relaxed, but things have gone too far. There is a difference between casually chic and sloth-like. Buy a belt. And an iron. Wear clothes that fit. Buy entire outfits at a time if thinking is too hard for you. Keep a collection of new white T-shirts.
And take off that f-ing baseball hat!
If you plan on going shopping (and you should), remember that stripes and bold colours are in for spring, navy looks good on everyone, and you can never have too many nice socks.
We all want our fashion to look effortless. But that takes a lot of work! And if you insist on doing none, then you should pay for dinner; your honey probably spent all her money on shoes. I know I did.
This post originally appeared on AnnaAndKristina.com.
The average American guy is wearing a suit that is one or two sizes too big. Larger clothes do not make you look more muscular or powerful, they make you look smaller and sloppier. .
I believe in the philosophy "never say never," but square-toed dress shoes never look flattering. Your feet are not square, so your shoes shouldn't be either.
The tip of your tie should just touch the top of your trousers. Anything else looks sloppy and shows a lack of attention to detail.
A man's jeans should be simple, unembelished and natural looking. Avoid cheesy fake distressing, outlandish back pocket details, and, of course, anything with rhinestones. .
Nothing makes a pair of trousers look sloppier than an excessive amount of fabric spilling over the shoes. Have your pants tailored with a light break, hitting about halfway down the back of your shoes. .
We get it: you're a funny guy. You don't need to announce it to the world with an obnoxious "That's what she said" T-shirt.
There are loafers and there are sneakers, each great for certain occasions. Cross-breed them, however, and you have a shoe that isn't appropriate for anything. .
The ultimate "bro" look that you see at every college bar: a business shirt worn untucked with jeans. It either says "I don't know" or "I don't care." Neither are going to help you at the bar.
A tie bar should be the same width as the tie it's fastening. Slightly narrower is okay, but never wider. As far as vertical placement, it should be worn around the sternum, just below the chest muscles.
Lose the unsightly bulge in your pocket. Streamline your look with a slim card case that holds a few bills, a credit card and a couple forms of ID. You definitely don't need all those old receipts and business cards from people you don't remember.
Follow Anna Wallner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Anna_Wallner